Since IRYJ (posted below) isn't the most exciting of episodes, I thought I'd prove how wide-ranging my cultural interests are by commenting on The Hunger Games. For those who haven't read the book, that's a joke, of course -- I can't imagine the book or the movie if it hadn't been for Buffy.
Spoilers for the book below. Also, I haven't read the other two books in the trilogy, so please label any spoilers if you mention them.
Here's where I'm coming from. I'm a fan of dystopian fiction (Road Warrior, Terminator, Blade Runner, etc.), and I can see the potential here. What I think makes all these earlier films successful is the willingness to show just how gritty and horrific the situation is. They didn't pull punches when it came to bloodshed or anything else. That's the kind of movie I'd like to see with The Hunger Games, and I think there's real potential for it.
The official trailer came out last week and I assume anyone reading this has seen it. I was happy to see Jennifer Lawrence get the lead role, because after her performance in Winter's Bone it suggests they intend to make a serious movie rather than just try to make money off the popularity of the book. That said, I have some concerns about what the trailer showed.
My concern here is that they'll underplay what we see on-screen for the sake of a PG-13 rating. I understand the financial issues, but I seriously doubt the movie can show just how awful Katniss' situation is if they tone down the movie to get that rating. Let me give an example.
When she's brought to The Capitol, one of the first things that happens is that she's depilated ("all the hair on her body") and then forced to stand naked while they walk around her and decide how to dress her. While this is recited very matter-of-factly in the book, it's horrifying if you think about it: she's totally objectified by this process, which seems designed to humiliate the victims.
In the trailer there's a brief scene of the depilation, and Jennifer Lawrence is wearing a robe. Now, I think they probably can convey the horror of this process without graphic nudity, but I think it's an important scene and IMO they need to, at the very least, convey graphic nudity so that the audience understands that something awful is happening. Just getting a leg wax won't convey that.
The trailer didn't show much from the Arena scenes so I don't know have any clue what the plan is there. Again IMO, the bloodshed and suffering in the Arena needs to be ugly and, well, bloody. The Capitol is forcing children to murder other children. That simply can't be understated if the message is to get across.